C’MAS 2013 ~ DAY 12
And Twelve Makes A Dozen
The egg is a universal and self-explanatory symbol because it holds the seed from which the whole of manifestation will spring. The idea that the universe was born from an egg is shared by nearly all ancient civilisations and cultures. The primordial man also originates from an egg, like Prajâpati. In general, the cosmic Egg, born from primordial Waters, splits into two halves to give birth to Heaven and Earth – as the Hindu Brahmânda or the two Dioscuri. It also signifies the polarization of the Hermaphrodite. The egg is a primordial reality containing the seeds that will give rise to multiple beings. For the ancient Egyptians, beings in multiplicity emerged, by the action of a Demiurge, from the Nun, personification of the primordial Ocean. A god sprang from this egg to bring order to Chaos, and in this way gave birth to differentiated beings. The god Khnum, born from the Ocean and the primordial Egg, in his turn, produces eggs or seeds of life. Ancient Egypt had various cosmogonies and in Hermopolis it was believed that the primordial Egg was Qerehet, guardian of the life forces of the human race. In India, according to the Upanishads, the Egg springs from the Non-Being and gives birth to the Elements: the two halves of the shell, one of gold and the other of silver, become, respectively, Heaven and Earth. The outer membrane gives birth to the mountains; the inner one becomes clouds; the veins give rise to the rivers and the ocean stems from the liquid. According to Tibetan tradition, the egg is the origin of a long genealogy of ancestors. In Chinese tradition, before Heaven and Earth became separated, Chaos resembled a hen’s egg. After 18.000 years – a number reflecting a long, undetermined length of time – the egg broke open; the heavy elements formed the Earth (Yin) and the light ones became the Heavens (Yang). The Coricancha, the great Inca temple at Cuzco, had as its main ornament an oval gold plate, flanked by representations of the Sun and Moon, symbolizing Huiracocha, the supreme godhead. The egg represents the creative power of Light. It confirms the promise of resurrection as a return. In graves in Beotia, figures of Dionysus holding an egg in his hand have been found. Orphic tradition prohibited the eating of eggs. Eggs were offered to the dead as food and token of rebirth. The egg is also linked to the symbolic qualities of quietude like the home, the nest, the shell or the mother’s womb. The egg is also associated with the idea of the seed of spiritual life, by the alchemical tradition of the Philosopher’s Egg, a hermetically sealed flask containing matter proper to terrestrial work.
Description: The center focus of the flash, the Rebis is the alchemical androgyne, a figure of sublime union, balancing the very nature of existence in one perfectly unified form. If you’re unfamiliar (or need a refresher) on the nature of the androgyne, please refer to the article on the single artwork for Stand Inside Your Love
This particular image shows the Rebis standing upon a dragon breathing flame. The dragon in this context is one of the Tria Prima; sulfur – the potential of the spirit – shown through transformative flame.
Supporting the Rebis is the globe of the Earth. Within it are the square and triangle. Together, the circle, the square and the triangle are the greatest of all shapes to the alchemist. The square is the corps, the triangle the spirit, and the circle is the realm of the divine. The wings attached to the globe reiterate the transcendental quality of these figures.
Within the square (which is the material and the corporeal) is the number 43. This has a twofold meaning. Firstly, it is a degree of measurement (another concept important to the alchemist), and secondly its sum is seven, the most perfect number, ascribed to the divine. One can also observe that the four rests within the square, while the three is similarly placed within the triangle. As to further place significance on measurement, the female holds in her hand a square, and the man holds a compass. Today, the square and compass are most visibly identified with the esoteric order of The Freemasons, who use it for the teaching of metaphysical concepts, as well as using it as a constant reminder of the necessity to keep good judgment and morality.
Surrounding the Rebis in a semi-circle are seven figures for the seven classical planets. Five of these seven are inscribed with their planetary influence, while the parent metals of the seven (Sol and Luna) are shown as the sun and the moon. Once again, this concept of seven being a figure of transformation and divinity reemerges.